Conrad Lariviere, a police officer in Springfield, Mass., is has apologized after facing criticism over online comments in response to a counter-protestor’s death during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
He said he made a “a stupid comment about people blocking streets” on Facebook during an online exchange with a MassLive reporter.
“Never would I want someone to get murdered. I am not a racist and I don’t believe in what any of the protesters are doing,” he said. “I’m a good man who made a stupid comment and would just like to be left alone.”
In his initial comments, he aughed at the counter-protesters misfortune as James A. Fields, Jr. plowed into the crowd — killing Heather Heyer.
Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri confirmed that an investigation has been launched and now Conrad could lose his job.
“I received notification of this Facebook post earlier today via email from a complaint. The post is purportedly from Springfield police officer. I took immediate steps to initiate a prompt and thorough internal investigation,” Barbieri told the MassLive via email.
“If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter with be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action.”
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also condemned the comments
“I just got done issuing a statement this morning on how upsetting the tragic incidents were in Charlottesville, Virginia and one of our own officers does this? Unbelievable! There is no place for this in our society, let alone from a Springfield Police Officer,” the Mayor’s statement read.
“I stand by and commend Commissioner Jon Barbieri’s steps for a thorough internal investigation and review by our Community Police Hearing Board to pursue the appropriate discipline against said officer.”
You can see a screenshot of Officer Conrad Lariviere’s now-deleted comments below.
— ?RiotWomenn? (@riotwomennn) August 14, 2017